Guwahati getaways: A vanishing Kaziranga
Well ther's enough info on when to go and what to do already in earlier threads so i will just add photographs of elephant ride and accomodation options in few government lodges as well as private hotels in Kohora.
As i write these words, the Burapahar and Bagori range of the park is flodded and park animals are crossing the National Highway 37 to take shelter in surrounding hills inside Karbi Anglong district.
Lot many animals specially deers are killed during flood season in the area by speeding vehicles. Very rarely elephants also get hurt. For pochers its a good time as animals come out from the thick jungle and stray near the highway or stay near the hills to become easy targets.
Other than being killed by poachers or trucks & buses, the floodwaters also take a few lives each year.
Sometimes baby Rhinos who get seperated from its mother or loses its mother in the floods are rescued by park officials and kept in their care till they grow up.
Animals also enter the neighbouring tea gardens during flood season, which big companies like Tata's having gardens there don't like. They have electric fence covering the gardens which proves fatal to some park animals as well.
But the frequent killer is Bangladeshi immigrants who have encroched upon Kaziranga, they poison water bodies that has even taken lives of the big cat, tiger apart from other park animals.
This happen too frequently on the north bank park Orang. But local government being safeguarding the encrochers and killers for vote bank politics, ther's nothing that the helpless Forest Department foot soldiers could do.
The forest guards working in Kaziranga or any other protected area in Assam are the most honest and hardworking of government officials but the Government keeps them like unwanted headache.
They are poorly paid and don't get salery for month's. They have no proper accomodation and transit facilities anywhere nor the required weapons to fight pochers and encrochers.
A Kaziranga forest guards hand was cut off by a Bangladeshi encrocher with a dao and he got no help from the Government. He was only doing his duty trying to stop a Bangladeshi from fishing inside the park. But as even honest workers like him who put their lives on risk every day protecting Kaziranga is forgotten by the Government, one can wonder what facility others working there get.
Pochers comes armed with Ak 47 and our guards have to do with heavy old outdated rifles.
Still the brave souls of Kaziranga keep doing their duty because they love the park animals like their own children, even if the Government think otherwise.
This is a very good topic you have brought up here, San. Wildlife protection is a joke in our country. I see programs daily on NGC and Discovery about the man-animal conflicts due to the increased encroachment into the natural habitat of animals. I think the key lies in awareness and relocating the villagers encroaching into protected forest area. I am sure many of us here would like to contribute and help preserve the WLS across our country. Any idea of how we, mango ppl, can contribute?
At home i usually sleep late but after a long tiring drive it was early to bed and too early to rise.
When i woke up, everyone including the chowkidar of the hotel was sleeping. He came out thinking i was leaving as i went near the gate, once he opened the gate i asked him about the elephant ride facility.
Since i had not booked a day early i was not positive but he being a local told me to give it a try as one seat should not be a problem.
So i went back to the room did the morning duty and drove to the Kaziranga park entry point in Kohora. When i arrived, the first party had already left and the guard told me just a few minutes back plus there was seat.
They told me to wait for the official to come for the second and last ride of the day. So i waited at a makeshift tea stall beside the car parking place at the entrance. Beyond the gate only big SUV's are allowed with prior permission from the main office. But most take locally available open Gypsy's for a jungle safari that i am yet to take. So many more visits on the envil.
Once the official came i was told that i can join the second group of tourist and taken to the riding point in a Gypsy.
After a few minutes wait there, our group saw the early risers group approaching. One by one the elephants and two babies as well started coming. One party got down and a new one got up. I took the last elephant after taking a few snaps.
As i was busy talking photographs, one of the elephants arrived from my backside unware, another tourist knocked my shoulders to make me realise what's coming right behind :Shockked:. I had to give way ofcourse.
The ride start point
End of a great ride
PS Had seen the remains of a tiger's dinner the night early, a deer but did not feel like capturing the image.
One of the best shots of the Rhino buddy and wonderful coverage there. Thank you for posting a lovely thread and sharing your experience. Will be looking for more posts from you...clap:
You've coined a new term mango ppl. And I like it :D
San, great topic you brought up. Sleeping government, selfish people is a deadly combination. Nice photo of the great beast. Waiting for me.
We have a nice national Park in Kashmir named “Dachigam National Park” which is just about 20 KMs from Srinagar City and it has been preserved since many many years. The Government was very successful in relocating 10 villages for its formation. It is not much talked about but is a fair success. Vote bank Politics is hurting the project like “Cleaning Dal lake” as it has many VOTERS living on waters who don’t want to move.
The key is to keep talking about it, keep raising the issues in one or the other forums, keep pressing. Some day, the politicians will wakeup to the reality and act. I am Praying, are you?
Nevertheless, a great insight into the treasure named “Kaziranga”clap:. I am waiting for my son to grow up a few more years so that he can remember the visit. This place is on my priority. Till then, it is hills in uttranchal.
Which month was your visit? When does the Kaziranga WLS reopen?
I suppose the Kohora gate must be choked with tourists in peak season - what about the other gates - there are 2 more, I think?
Is there rationing of the number of vehicles that is allowed inside the park?
Earlier, they used to permit your own cars also - same now also?
BTW, your series of travelogues ex-Guwahati is almost like a Outlook Traveller Getaways: Guwahati book!!!
Kaziranga is on my wish list. Excellent photos, San. Keep them rolling..
Sen, I am extremely sorry for the OT. Please continue. I am enjoying each and every log of yours. Added information from the great members like "hvk" is icing on the cake.
These are amazing snaps. My first look at Kaziranga!
Thanks for sharing.
The one horned beast really looks majestic!
Yes there are many more places to enter the park from and take a jeep safari, i will add their names in a later stage. I don't know for sure but it seems they have daily quotas for vehicle entry just as only two elephant rides a day. Yes own cars possible as per those in the gate told me.
You can add photographs of the park you mentioned here if you wish.
The only on road picture from Kaziranga trip.
Kaziranga Accomodation pictures:
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